Atlanta-area megachurch pastor Creflo Dollar is one in a long line of prominent pastors to face accusations of wrongdoing. Dollar was arrested Friday, June 8, 2012, after his teenage daughter alleged he choked her. Dollar has denied the charges, which were later dropped. Here are some other famous scandals involving ministers.
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Aimee Semple McPherson —
A nationally known Pentecostal preacher who opened a $1.5 million temple in Los Angeles, Aimee Semple McPherson disappeared in 1926, re-emerging after a month to say she had been kidnapped and tortured. When her story unraveled, McPherson, pictured in 1935, was charged with perjury, although she was later acquitted.
Jim Bakker —
Jim Bakker and his wife, Tammy Faye, led an evangelistic empire called PTL, or Praise the Lord, headquartered in their own theme park in Fort Mill, South Carolina, near Charlotte, North Carolina. Revelations that Jim Bakker had paid former church secretary Jessica Hahn to keep quiet about a sexual encounter raised questions about his finances in the late 1980s. In 1989, he was sentenced to 45 years in prison for fleecing his flock of $158 million.
Jimmy Swaggart —
The famous TV preacher was caught with a prostitute in a New Orleans hotel in 1988, but his tearful televised confession kept his $12-million-a-year, 10,000-employee religious empire together until he was linked to another prostitute in 1991. Lawsuits and an Internal Revenue Service tax lien put an end to Jimmy Swaggart's media reign.
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Ted Haggard —
A gay escort accused Ted Haggard, then pastor of Colorado's biggest church and president of the nation's largest evangelical group, of paying him for drug-fueled sex in 2006. Haggard acknowledged receiving a massage from the man and buying methamphetamine, but he said he threw the drugs away. His church fired him for "sexually immoral conduct."
Eddie Long —
In a 2010 lawsuit, four former congregants of Bishop Eddie Long's Atlanta-area megachurch accused the pastor of using his position and expensive gifts, such as cars and international trips, to coerce them into sexual acts while they were teens. Long, pictured in 2010, denied the allegations and settled with the young men in 2011.
Marcus Lamb —
A televangelist and founder of the Daystar Television Network, the Rev. Marcus Lamb confessed that he cheated on his wife, Joni Lamb, who also leads the network, in front of his TV audience in 2010, saying he was coming clean in the face of a $7.5 million extortion attempt.